KAMPALA. The ping-pong between custodian Ismail Watenga and Vipers over a new lucrative contract may be over after the Kitende based club confirmed the signature of another experienced net minder.
The Uganda Premier League champions, last week, recruited Fabien Mutombora from Burundi side Lydia Ludic Académic to join the new look goalkeeping set that includes Derrick Ochan, Bashir Ssekagya and Eric Kibowa.
Watenga, a mainstay as Vipers lifted three domestic trophies the last four years, fell out with the hierarchy after reportedly asking for $70,000 (an estimated Shs250m) to renew his contract.
He missed the club’s team two-week bonding camp in Mbale as new head coach Javier Martinez streamlined his team for next season.
It is at this point that they lured Mutombola from the noses of Express, tried him out in the 6-1 friendly win over Mbale Heros before tagging him to a three-year contract.
Also affected by the Burundian arrival is Watenga’s hitherto auxiliary James Alitho who has since been told he is free to join another club. The three-time league champions have however managed to convince want-away defensive pillar Halid Lwaliwa to sign a new two-year contract after he was linked with a move to the professional ranks. “Lwaliwa renewing his contract is good news for us because he is a composed and intelligent defender. Away from the speculations of going to Botswana, we knew he would sign,” Vipers head of communications Abdu Wasike told Daily Monitor yesterday. Martinez’s side will take on UPL newcomers Nyamityobora in a friendly match last Friday and lost 1-0 at Kakyeka after playing Mbarara City.